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Sunday 27 November 2011

Craftacular fever hits London

I read that Rob Ryan wrapping paper would be on sale at Bust Magazine’s annual Christmas Craftacular in London but I had no idea the man in question, the man…he, the legend, the most incredible paper crafter ever, would be there in person, signing hand screen printed ‘wrapping paper’ that clearly no one will ever use to wrap a gift, but will in fact frame, and admire forever. And here he is….with me!!! I was in so much shock…in fact, I am still in shock. The man is a genius. I am in love with every papercut he has ever done, his desk calendar sits on my table, his teatowels are in my kitchen drawers, his skirt hangs in my wardrobe, his books adorn my shelf, his blog is a must read of mine and his Ryan Town shop is one of my favourite museums… and there I was. In his presence, getting his autograph. I felt soooo honoured.  (All I need now is someone to buy me this rather incredible Tatty Devine necklace, followed by me saving up all my pennies to one day own one of his original pieces of art work….that’s two dreams to be getting on with …)

In the mean time here’s a round up of my trip to this most spectacular of craft fairs. Lots of the regular craftastic stalls were there, the super stylish Janine Basil and her Batastic fascinators, the ever gorgeous Heart Zeena (revealing her new woven shawls), and plenty of other folk I recognised from Renegade a few weeks back and the Thames Festival in the Autumn.

Rob Ryan was selling three colours of ‘wrapping paper’. Miraculously I was the last person in the queue to get my hands on a blue one…and I was suitably chuffed : ) I bought it as a gift and am keeping a red one for myself. It was one hour (spent queuing) well worth it, and I wasn’t the only satisfied customer.

Lauren O’Farrel of Stitch London and Crafty Crafty fame was the one who tipped me off about it!
What an arm!
Unfortunately queuing meant I was unable to get to the Craftivists workshops.

Sarah the heroine behind the Craftivist Collective led one of their popular sessions on making poignant ‘mini protest banners.’

Kits to make your own banners can be bought online at Folksy if you fancy having a go and check out their website for more details about their inspiring work, that quite frankly we should all be a part of.
He's 'X'y
Luckily I still got crafty, thanks to the fine stitchy specimen that is Mr X Stitch. He may be a craft celebrity (look out for him on Kirsty’s Chrismas Special over the festive season)…but does that mean he knows how to teach?
I can reveal that the answer is yes! Having done zero cross stitch since I was seven years old (I have a cushion full of mistakes to show for it), he opened my mind up to a whole new crafty world. Starting with how to sew without knotting your thread…something I never knew, despite my own efforts to be a crafty expert who specialises in textiles.
Fellow crafty Twitterati friends joined me – most of who were more successful that me. I didn’t manage to complete my Christmas sampler, just the letter ‘o’!
But hey ho, it’s a start and I learn't heaps!

'O' dear...
Mr X Stitch was a splendid workshop host; inspiring, motivating and even patted me on the back when I was feeling stressed about the ridiculous mistakes I kept making. If only all teachers were like him. 
Get your sugar hit!

I didn’t get a chance to meet the legendary Jazz Domino Holly who was running the next session, as I had to hotstep it to catch a Bollywood movie across town, but I’m happy to report I did track down a lovely girl with amazing hair, who co-runs a brilliant craftzine called Sugar Paper
 It’s the best craftzine I’ve ever seen (even better than my old craftzine Fete!
I met her at Craftacular two years ago when I bought an amazing bag she made with the words ‘You make me want to crochet’. It’s one of my fave bags and it was great to see she’s still doing what she loves.
Love and passion is pretty much what sums up Craftacular. The stalls are run people who all love making stuff and the shoppers are crazy about what they see. The atmosphere is one of shiny, happy, smiley people and lots of like-minded peeps to make friends with, such as the ever lovely Shoreditch Sister girls. For a run down of the crafty goodies that were on sale, check out the brilliant photo gallery on Crafty Crafty.
I most definitely recommend a trip here next year (there may be a summer Craftacular too?). The only disappointment was the Tatty Devine tombola. It cost £2 to enter and all I got was one chocolate celebration…i.e a Bounty bar that measures 3cm. 
The good thing about the stall though was that the lovely lady working there was wearing this most spectacular of lobster necklaces. Another accessory I need to get saving for.

In fact that’s one thing this craft fair taught me. There is so much lovely arty/crafty stuff out there I want to own, I just need to pull my stockings up and get more work, to pay for it ; )


1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing such a fantastic day. I wish I could be there, but i live in Scotland, so have to admire from afar. That lobster necklace is something, wow.